Gaining Career Traction

I can hardly believe that I’m writing this post just a few days before I head home for Thanksgiving break. This semester has flown by. Once we return from break, we have only a few classes left before finals hit. While finals are certainly stressful, there’s quite a bit to look forward to: not only the holiday break, but also the excitement of FIELD II Immersion! I personally am traveling to Accra, Ghana, and couldn’t be more excited. I’ve never been to Africa before, so I’m excited to not only experience a new country, but an entirely new continent as well.

Of course, part of the reason the semester has gone by so quickly is my jam-packed calendar. After classes and extra-curricular activities, it feels as though I am spending almost every spare minute on recruiting. I am doing a primarily networked search, although I am also applying to some companies through HBS’ on-campus career site. As previously mentioned, I’m trying to go into education, which is an extremely wide field. Adding more work to my plate is the fact that I’m not exactly certain which area I’d like to be in this summer—I’m considering working in district consulting, in a charter management organization, and in a district. This means that I’ve been spending a tremendous amount of time figuring out potential roles in each area, and taking to many individuals within each space.

Fortunately, I’ve been pleasantly surprised by how many people have been willing to chat with me. I’ve had almost no trouble at all scheduling phone conversations with individuals at each company I’m interested in; indeed, my calendar might be happier with fewer phone calls! The alumni, in particular, have been fantastic. Even individuals in higher-level roles have returned my emails quickly, and have spent valuable time within me on the phone.

The second year students here at HBS have also proven crucial to my search. They’ve been so generous with their own connections, and are also a great resource when I simply need to chat about what a particular role or company is really like. Along the same lines, I’ve been working with a fabulous career coach at HBS, and she has been extremely helpful in generating ideas of connections at particular districts and charter management organizations.

I still have a long way to go in my career search, but I do feel as though I’m finally gaining some traction. With the help of all of the resources here at HBS, I know I’ll succeed. I’m excited to see what the next few months bring!

-Ali Huberlie, MBA 2015

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